From her lofty perch in the Pennine outpost of Delph, an excited Landlady rings me. She has just been to Blackburn - no that's not what she was chuffed by, though it isn't as bad as you might imagine - but her visit to Blackburn was to Thwaites Brewery where she and other leading cask pubs in the Thwaites estate were given some excellent news. Thwaites, who I have mentioned before, are upping their cask game, announced to the agog throng, that in addition to an enhanced seasonal and occasional range, a choice of guest ales from other brewers will be provided by the brewery. The Landlady is delighted. She wasn't sure at the time of speaking, what the guests would be, but Bateman's, St Austell and Champion Beer of Britain, Harvest Pale were mentioned.
Today, as if to confirm, the press release from Thwaites popped into my in box. It will feature 16 artisan ales from Daniel Thwaites’ Signature range of ales. as well as 16 guest beers from a range of brewers. The Landlady can't wait.
It seems that this will be part of a reciprocal arrangement, so Thwaites beers will get greater exposure too. This has become a feature of rather a lot of small brewers and has the potential to increase sales all round. Here in Manchester, Hydes and Holts do it, Robinsons as far as I know don't and Lees definitely don't. Will that change I wonder?
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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